These cats are longhair counterparts of the Siamese. The longhair gene was probably introduced to Siamese from Angoras.Description:This is one of several breeds described as Oriental. The four breeds have the same type; they are separated only by variations in color, pattern and hair length. They are beautiful and they know it. The Oriental type is characterized by large ears, a wedge-shaped head, a long neck, a long body and legs, and a long, whippy, pointed tail. To handle these cats is likened to feeling a silk glove over a iron hand. These cats are fine boned and delicate in appearance, long and elegant in every extreme while retaining firm, hard muscles. They should feel as hard as rock, never emaciated or too thin.The wedge shaped head, which ends in a fine muzzle, should fit into a long triangular shape. In profile, a straight line without a dip or rise is seen from the center of the forehead to the tip of the nose and from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the chin. There should not be a whisker pinch; that is, the line from the side of the chin to the base of the ears should be straight with no indentation where the muzzle attaches to the skull. Large, broad-based ears extend and complete the triangular head as a continuation of the wedge and are angled slightly forward.The medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes should be approximately on eye?s width apart, with a slant towards the nose and outer aperture in line with the center of the ear base. This combination of eye shape, size, placement and set gives the eyes a decidedly oriental look. The slender, graceful neck is carried to display length and adds to the elegance of the cat. The long, tubular body is medium in size, with fine or slender boning and hard muscles. The legs are long with the hind legs longer than the forelegs. The feet are oval, small and dainty.The Balinese is a pointed cat with a semi-long coat; the hair on the tail is usually longer than the body hair. The Balinese is a lovely cat and the medium coat allows the eye to see the long lines of this marvelous creature.
Early Balinese cats were reported to the product of Siamese-to-Siamese breeding. They were not a sudden mutation, but a result of pairing of recessive longhair genes. The most likely introductions of the longhair gene into the Siamese gene pool took place in England during the World Wars, when it was necessary for breeders to outcross in order to retain a part of their bloodlines. Turkish Angoras would have been likely candidates for outcrossing, as the type is similar. At first, breeders could do nothing with the longhair kittens. They could not sell or show them; if entered in a show, the cats would be disqualified as Siamese because of their long coat. Balinese were eventually accepted, and were granted championship status in the 1970?s.
Oriental cats are vocal; and not only when they are in season. As loving as these cats are, their calling may not make them popular with the neighbours. Thy will often carry on a running conversation with their owners and their genuine love of people brings an assurance of close companionship.They are active, and their minds seem to be whirling with activity. If they do not have a playmate, they will create one out of anything. Height beckons a flight up or down; they delight in jumping and have been seen to leap four or five feet in any direction with ease. They are not outdoor cats. Most will make no effort to escape into the great unknow.The Balinese requires an occasional combing, but their hair does not mat. They super-intelligent cats make wonderful pets if the owner can put up with the constant demand for companionship. They want to be with you every moment of every day. they will be your friend for life.
Southern Alberta Cat Fanciers - Rene Copeland